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The Education (Academic Affairs) Department in 2014

Our names are Adam and Hana, and we’re your Education (Academic Affairs) Officers for this year.

Adam is a third year Bachelor of Environments Student, majoring in Urban Design & Planning. Hana studies a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Politics, and a Diploma in Spanish.

We are committed to working with the University and other UMSU departments to ensure that the education you receive at the University of Melbourne is of a high standard, that and academic or administrative issues you may encounter are addressed effectively; and that students are aware of the support services available to them should they run into any difficulties during their studies.

More specifically, there are a number of issues we are aiming to address this year. These include:

  • Ensuring the University Handbook is up-to-date. Many students have noticed inaccurate or misleading information in the Handbook entries for their subjects, such as assessment details which differ to practice or the omission of a full list of required course materials. This inaccuracy results in students needing to rearrange their workload or paying for materials they had not originally budgeted for. As the Universitys’ legal contract with students regarding subject delivery, the Handbook is required to be accurate. In 2014 we will be working with the University to ensure that adequate procedures are developed and enforced to improve the Handbook’s accuracy and usefulness.
  • Minors and breadth tracks on academic transcripts. Currently, the academic transcript you will receive at the end of your degree does not recognise any minors or breadth tracks you have completed. We believe that as a significant component of a degree, these should be officially acknowledged by the University. We will be working to see this change implemented.
  • Tutor training. Tutors with the necessary skills are an essential part of a quality educational experience. Many students have encountred tutors who have not received adequate support and professional development from the University, resulting in expensive subjects not fulfilling their potential, and inconsistent or insufficient marking and feedback. In 2014, we are planning to work with the University to ensure that effective training and support programs are provided to tutors, and that there is a level of consistency across different schools and faculties.

On top of this, we aim to work with the Education (Public) department to campaign against cuts to courses, deregulation of fees, and other attacks to students both on-campus and across the country.

One of the major components of our role as Education (Academic Affairs) officers is to facilitate the Student Representative Network (SRN), which provides students with the opportunity to participate in the decision-making processes of the University by sitting on various University boards and committees. Any student can apply, and in 2014 over 20 committee positions will be filled by students. Applications for 2014 positions have now closed, however we hold twice-monthly meetings where student representatives come together to share ideas and discuss issues arising from their respective committees. Dates and times of these meetings will be published on the website, and anyone is welcome to attend and contribute suggestions and ideas.

If you have any further questions about what we do, how to get involved or whether we can assist you with a particular issue, please do not hestitate to get in touch with us! Either send us an email at educationacademic@union.unimelb.edu.au, or drop by our office, Level 1 Union House.